Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

Build thread: Calfee DIY bamboo kit

Notices
Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

Build thread: Calfee DIY bamboo kit

Old 03-09-17, 07:06 AM
  #51  
Canaboo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 473
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
You can relieve a large portion of bamboo to gain clearance as long as your wrapping covers the spots.
Canaboo is offline  
Old 03-14-17, 08:15 AM
  #52  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
Nothing to report except check out Craig himself showing off this electric model:
Photos: 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show takes off at Salt Palace | The Salt Lake Tribune
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 03-24-17, 04:00 PM
  #53  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
No updates in a while... but it's not out of my mind.

This is a mockup of a fixture for the bottom bracket and dropouts. I want to start from here because I'm so worried about tire clearance. It's much different from Calfee's. I think I'm going to build it like this, cut it to 8" wide, and then put shelf brackets on it to put it 90deg and 4" centerline from the plan. This specific version didn't quite work for a couple of reasons. First because the 1-1/2" angle iron has holes that are at 1", not 3/4" from the angle, and so I can't get the 5-1/2" spacing I need (the difference between 5-1/2" and 135mm can be cheated with the hole clearances). I could get the right spacing with the angles set outside the dropouts, but then the whole stackup is too wide. The other reason is that the fold in the angle iron is not square. I think I saw some 1.5" box section that should fix both problems. That mounted on 4" centers should do it.

The fitting shown is for 2" pipe. 2" pipe is actually 2.375" and that's just over the size of a regular MTB tire, so a fitting that goes around that should be 2-3/4", perfect to set the clearance. I wanted to use a piece of 2-1/2" pipe which is really 2.875", but I couldn't find any. It's an oddball size.

I'm back to debating whether to use 29er or 27.5 wheels. The latter are becoming more prevalent and easier to find cheap tubeless versions; it also makes the tire clearance easier, both in the angle of the chain stays, and behind the seat tube. When I look at the Marin Bobcat Trail geometry, the 27.5" version spends the reduced stack to add some reach.


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 03-24-17 at 04:38 PM.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 03-25-17, 06:46 AM
  #54  
Canaboo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 473
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
No updates in a while... but it's not out of my mind.

This is a mockup of a fixture for the bottom bracket and dropouts. I want to start from here because I'm so worried about tire clearance. It's much different from Calfee's. I think I'm going to build it like this, cut it to 8" wide, and then put shelf brackets on it to put it 90deg and 4" centerline from the plan. This specific version didn't quite work for a couple of reasons. First because the 1-1/2" angle iron has holes that are at 1", not 3/4" from the angle, and so I can't get the 5-1/2" spacing I need (the difference between 5-1/2" and 135mm can be cheated with the hole clearances). I could get the right spacing with the angles set outside the dropouts, but then the whole stackup is too wide. The other reason is that the fold in the angle iron is not square. I think I saw some 1.5" box section that should fix both problems. That mounted on 4" centers should do it.

The fitting shown is for 2" pipe. 2" pipe is actually 2.375" and that's just over the size of a regular MTB tire, so a fitting that goes around that should be 2-3/4", perfect to set the clearance. I wanted to use a piece of 2-1/2" pipe which is really 2.875", but I couldn't find any. It's an oddball size.

I'm back to debating whether to use 29er or 27.5 wheels. The latter are becoming more prevalent and easier to find cheap tubeless versions; it also makes the tire clearance easier, both in the angle of the chain stays, and behind the seat tube. When I look at the Marin Bobcat Trail geometry, the 27.5" version spends the reduced stack to add some reach.


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
Consider mocking up around the actual wheel and tire you want to use. You'll want to bend the tangs on those dropouts . Not sure if that's part of the instructions.
Canaboo is offline  
Old 04-19-17, 12:45 AM
  #55  
BigC_82
Senior Member
 
BigC_82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 327

Bikes: 2003 Raleigh M40, 2015 Raleigh RX 2.0, 2017 Kinesis Tripster A/T

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
thanks for taking the time going thru this process as I want to build DIY gravel bike
BigC_82 is offline  
Old 04-21-17, 08:00 PM
  #56  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
Some minor progress. But I miscalculated and the centerline is at 4.5" instead of 4


Untitled by Darth Lefty, on Flickr
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 04-21-17, 08:08 PM
  #57  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,240

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3417 Post(s)
Liked 2,103 Times in 1,374 Posts
Cheap angle iron and pressed peg board are poor tools for alignment purpose. For initial mocking up, sure. But final jigging, no. A stack of washers between the angle iron and the drop out inner faces can help set the OLD width. Andy
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 04-23-17, 11:36 AM
  #58  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
Yeah, that's the new plan. The 3/8 rod is a looser fit than I wanted, too. The peg board is not too flat either and will likely get glued to MDF. The frame has long sliding dropouts so it might be forgiving in the horizontal plane but not the vertical
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 05-06-17, 05:02 PM
  #59  
BigC_82
Senior Member
 
BigC_82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 327

Bikes: 2003 Raleigh M40, 2015 Raleigh RX 2.0, 2017 Kinesis Tripster A/T

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Any updates on this frame?
BigC_82 is offline  
Old 05-07-17, 10:37 PM
  #60  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
Not from me. My employer announced plans to close up shop locally by the end of 2018 and move somewhere we don't really want to go, so I'm job hunting in high gear.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 05-08-17, 11:56 AM
  #61  
BigC_82
Senior Member
 
BigC_82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 327

Bikes: 2003 Raleigh M40, 2015 Raleigh RX 2.0, 2017 Kinesis Tripster A/T

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
tough luck on the job loss. I hope you can find a new job soon. I had bad luck with my current all road bike (road/gravel) last weekend snapping derailleur hanger. This has ramped me up to buy this kit to build my own dedicated gravel bike.
BigC_82 is offline  
Old 06-13-17, 10:03 AM
  #62  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
No recent progress to report, but I've kept the kit in my field of view so I don't forget about it. (Not like this DJ Aerotech Chrysalis HLG kit that I just found in my attic from about 1998 and four moves ago!)

I had my eye on a set of wheels via Nashbar that were really nice and just exactly the right amount of obsolete... 27.5 XT M775 wheels with tubeless rims and QR rear, deep clearance to $220. But budget was tight and I failed to bite while the iron was knocking. :-/
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 06-13-17 at 10:18 AM.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 02-25-19, 03:58 PM
  #63  
helixbikes
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 16

Bikes: Custom Bamboo, Xtracycle, CAAD10

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
*Update*: I moved, and put the kit away for a while. I "finished" it before Thanksgiving, and then discovered that my bottom bracket cup was backwards. I didn't realize they were directional, and the cup that came with the kit had no directional markings. I was very much not excited about having to cut the joint apart, so I put it off again until last month.

This last week, I finally pushed through and set aside the time to wrap it up. After a 16 mile test ride, I have to say - it rides like a dream! The frames compliance in the rough has to be experienced: more supple than steel, but has a similarly sturdy feel to it:



One unexpected quirk with waiting so long is that the the bent chain and seats stays appear to have straightened themselves out over time. It seems like a common issue with bent bamboo that isn't under pressure. I'm ashamed of the terrible hacks used to fit a 29x2.1" in the back, but it seems to be holding.

I'm looking forward to seeing an update from others - especially you, Darth =)

Last edited by helixbikes; 02-25-19 at 04:19 PM.
helixbikes is offline  
Likes For helixbikes:
Old 02-25-19, 06:06 PM
  #64  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
That looks fantastic!

I only have excuses to offer. We had twins, then we moved. We both work so any spare time spent not actually riding to work has instead been spent doing home stuff.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 02-26-19, 09:30 PM
  #65  
helixbikes
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 16

Bikes: Custom Bamboo, Xtracycle, CAAD10

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Darth: Having twins is all the excuse one needs. Take care of them! You'll get your free time back at some point. I can't wait to see what you make of it!

In the mean time, I'll be building a road bike with the https://www.bamboobicycleclub.org/ kit, as Calfee is temporarily out of bamboo stock. For science sake, I'll use their single-use jig, but I plan to use Calfee's mitering technique and probably Calfee's geometry as well.
helixbikes is offline  
Old 02-27-19, 05:06 AM
  #66  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,138 Times in 1,525 Posts
Kids are more important than framebuilding.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 06-10-20, 11:09 PM
  #67  
helixbikes
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: California
Posts: 16

Bikes: Custom Bamboo, Xtracycle, CAAD10

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
2020 Update

Any news, Darth Lefty?

After a year of riding, the bamboo poles started coming loose from the casting-tape lugs from the monster-cross bike I previously posted the photo for. First the top-tube came loose on a commute home, followed a few weeks later by the down-tube, which made it completely unrideable. My theory is a combination of:

- Perhaps I didn't strip the epoxy-resistent layer of silica off the ends of each pole?
- Perhaps the bond between the bamboo and the casting tape idea just sucks and needs extra epoxy?
- A couple of months before-hand, I changed to hanging the bike up vertically both at work and at home

Just before this happened, I did finish the second bike frame, using lugs built up from a layer of woven flax followed by a lot of hemp, and a lot of epoxy:




I feel much better about this sort of lug design. I also chose to sand & coat the entire new frame in epoxy, giving it a much nicer appearance. I'm working on a 3rd frame now, but it'll be a more casual setup. Hope all is well with you!
helixbikes is offline  
Likes For helixbikes:
Old 06-11-20, 12:48 AM
  #68  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
Thread Starter
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 12,819

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2706 Post(s)
Liked 1,541 Times in 1,005 Posts
Thanks. Itís funny you bring it up today because Calfee also had a feature today from another owner.

https://calfeedesign.com/new-diy-bike-cottingham/

I'm at a total impasse on hobbies, with my scant alone-time spent on riding.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 09-20-21, 09:49 PM
  #69  
multifrog 
Lugs not drugs
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Thanks for documenting

A friend of mine got a calfee bamboo bike recently and it got me thinking. I found the diy kit and I'm really trying to convince myself that I can finish the project. Reading through your post encouraged me to make it happen. I thought it would be a fun project to do with my dad, he's 70 now and I think it'd be fun to build up a couple bikes.
multifrog is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Darth Lefty
Framebuilders
34
07-03-16 07:14 PM
PedestrianLove
Framebuilders
1
02-17-16 08:21 AM
theery
Framebuilders
20
02-27-14 02:41 PM
____asdfghjkl
Framebuilders
12
06-14-12 05:48 PM
WillynHook
Utility Cycling
11
03-24-10 11:19 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.